Strong Sleep and Immune Boost
Sleep. We need it! So, why do we deny ourselves this much-needed part of life? Strong Coffee Company CEO and celebrity trainer Adam Von Rothfelder here, and I’m excited to go over this topic and guide you to some practical solutions.
If you want to skip this and get right to the sleep tips, check out Immune Boosting with Strong Sleep part 2.
A Brief History of Sleep
For as long as people have been around, the circadian rhythm (the body’s internal process of regulating sleep) has been there to guide your sleep schedule. Why we sleep is a question that has been pondered since ancient times.
Ancient civilizations have their own take on why you need to eventually shut your eyes and pass out. Alcmaeon, a Greek physician alive around 450 B.C., believed sleep was a spell of unconsciousness. His theory was that a lack of circulation to the brain took you to the place of dreams due to blood draining from the body’s surface.
Then Aristotle came along (you may have heard of him – a big deal in Ancient Greece) and believed sleep was due to the heart (the heart thought to be the seat of consciousness). An arrest of consciousness was taking place there, causing one to sleep it out (a fancy way of saying your mind needed to work s&*t out).
Aristotle also connected big meals with sleep. He believed digestion played a significant role in the onset of the sleeping process.
When 162 A.D. came around, we reconnected sleep with the brain thanks to a person named Galen. During the ensuing centuries, little to no progress was made on sleep. However, one thing is clear: sleep was thought to be a detoxifying process for the body.
Welcome to the Enlightenment! It was that time in human history, also known as the Age of Reason, where people started to find philosophy and science very sexy. Some scientists began interpreting their dreams.
The bedroom was where one of two things were mean to go down: sleep or quality time with yourself or another (wink wink). However, staying asleep for too long was regarded as a sign of slothfulness (one of those seven deadly sins).
Enter the Neuron! No, it’s not a Bruce Lee movie. In the early 1900s, neurons became a thing, along with more discoveries regarding the nervous system. The first sleeping pill was created around this time, ushering in sleep medicine.
The discovery of the Circadian Rhythm Cycle around 1935 was also a very big deal.
As the 20th century pressed on, more discoveries were made about REM sleep and NREM sleep. REM sleep is rapid eye movement where your eyes move around while you sleep.
Dreams typically happen during REM sleep. Before REM sleep, however, is NREM or non-REM sleep. These two cycles play out from NREM to REM, with REM being the shorter of the two.
So, why is sleep important?
Why Sleep is Important
You know me, I’ve always been a massive fan of a good night’s sleep. It is just as important as diet and exercise. You need it to complete the puzzle of a healthy lifestyle.
As a human adult, you need about seven hours of sleep. We’ve all heard it, and we all know it. Let’s go into how that helps your body.
In an interview with Healthline, Doctor Kimberly Hardin, MD (director of the sleep medicine fellowship program at the University of California), explained that sleep is a natural state. It needs to be taken care of to be healthy. She explains that sleep should leave you feeling refreshed and that sleep requirements for your body change as you age.
If you get less than five hours of sleep at night, you have a higher mortality risk. That kind of lack of sleep statistically means less lifespan.
Did you get less than seven hours of sleep for three nights in a row? Guess what? That’s like missing one full night’s sleep to your body.
Continuing to not get adequate sleep impacts how you function.
- Hormones get out of whack
- Brain function suffers from poor quality sleep
- Exercise suffers and energy for the day plummet
- Cardiovascular disease risk goes up
- Weight gain tends to happen
Let’s not forget that you’ll also be looking at increased blood pressure, cortisol, insulin resistance, and a decrease in blood sugar regulation. Does any of that sound worth it?
When it comes down to it, healthy sleep allows you to perform better and not feel tired during the day.
Why People Don’t Sleep
Unfortunately, people just don’t get the sleep they need. A CDC report in 2016 revealed that 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. 1 in 3!
I get it. I really do. Life can get crazy. Responsibilities, stress, family, work, and dealing with a f&#ing pandemic all play a role!
There are some sleep disorders and other factors that make it difficult for people to get sleep.
- Circadian Rhythm Disorders are when your body’s internal sleep-wake clock isn’t set to the right time. Problems falling asleep, staying asleep, not feeling like you got quality sleep are symptoms that tend to happen. Jet lag also impacts this, and insomnia may be a symptom. When it is close to bedtime, you won't be able to sleep.
- Snoring is a big one. This one impacts anyone else trying to sleep around the person snoring and affects the person snoring. Noisy breathing can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, which is another hindrance to good sleep.
- Narcolepsy is a brain disorder. It makes you very sleepy throughout the waking hours. The “sleep attacks” don’t happen as often as Hollywood portrays. Most people simply feel incredibly sleepy during the day.
Restless leg syndrome, nightmares, depression, and anxiety also contribute to not catching those z’s. Your mental health plays a factor in this as well, so remember to take care of yourself.
How Sleep Boost Your Immune System
It’s all about the T cells! It turns out mom was right (don’t tell her I said that). A lack of proper sleep makes our immune system not as strong as it should be. Sleep and your immune system go hand in hand.
Our immune system is here to protect our bodies from diseases such as colds and cases of flu. If it’s impacted by not getting enough sleep, it isn’t doing its job, and we are more prone to getting sick.
Studies have shown that T cells go down if we experience a lack of sleep. T cells play a crucial role in making sure our immune system is kicking ass. Stress hormones are up if we’re awake when we should be sleeping, and inflammatory cytokines go up – this can promote tissue damage.
As I’ve stated, you all know, or should know, how I feel about sleep. Sleep is how you build the body back up. It’s essential for your immune system, muscle repair, and your mental health. Take care of your body, and it will take care of you.
In the second part of Get Strong Sleep, I’ll share some tips on how to get better quality sleep. I’ll also share the benefits of Strong Sleep, a sleep aid from Strong Coffee Company that’ll help you sleep better at night.